Local social enterprise Crest Cooperative works with Conwy County Borough Council to improve recycling rates and keep unwanted items out of landfill. Residents can recycle clothing and small electrical items every fortnight in purple and pink bags as part of the Council’s kerbside recycling collections.
“We’re pleased to be working with Crest to help residents do more with their unwanted electricals and clothing,” says Cllr Donald Milne, Conwy County Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Roads and Facilities, “We know that reusing is the best way to minimise damage to the environment: reducing the demand on raw materials and decreasing pollution from landfill.”
Small electrical items collected in the pink recycling bags, like lamps, TVs, toys, vacuum cleaners, laptops and hairdryers, are inspected by qualified electricians. Items which can’t be repaired are stripped for parts and recycled, but the majority are repaired and tested. The items are then donated to families in need or sold on in Crest’s retail shops in Colwyn Bay and Llandudno.
In November alone collections from households in Conwy County saved over 3,500kg of small electrical items from going to landfill.
Items of clothing for recycling should go in the purple bags for kerbside collection.
“Clothes are laundered and pressed and we select the best to go in our shops,” explains Rod Williams, General Operations Manager at Crest. “School uniforms collected over the summer found new homes for the new school year, keeping costs down for families on small budgets.”
“We donate warm clothes, towels, sleeping bags and tents to a charity for the homeless. Bedding that’s not suitable for this is given to animal charities.”
The shops also give volunteering opportunities to local people who need a helping hand to increase their confidence, or simply want to socialise with other like-minded people. Volunteering can lead on to full-time employment or education, and helps improve the volunteers’ lives as well as their communities.
Julian Woodcock volunteered in different roles at Crest, particularly enjoying working on the kerbside collection vans. With that work experience, he got a job at DPD unloading parcels, his first paid employment for over two years. “I did enjoy the vans,” Julian said. “It actually became the thing I enjoyed the most.” Even after getting a paid job, Julian still helps out at Crest when his shifts allow.
Rod Williams says, “Recycling clothes and electricals is so much better than things being dumped in the rubbish bin to go to landfill, just because the current owner doesn’t need them anymore. As well as being environmentally sustainable, you’re also helping out local people and improving lives.”
There will be no electricals or textiles collections between Saturday 22 December and Friday 4 January. Kerbside collections re-start after Christmas during week commencing 7 January 2018.
Conwy residents are also able to take items like larger electricals, furniture, toys, garden ornaments, bicycles and prams to the Council’s Household Recycling Centre at Mochdre where items are also re-sold in the Reuse Shop with profits going to St Davids Hospice.